Monday, June 28, 2010

Chris Brown...Fan of Foe

Chris Brown graced the stage at the 10th annual BET Awards Sunday, June 27th 2010. He performed a tribute to Michael Jackson. When it was time for Chris Brown to sing Man In The Mirror, he was over come with tears to the point that he was unable to sing the song. The crowd at the viewing party I attended as well as the audience at the show seemed to embrace him.

I overheard one lady say if Chris Brown came out with an album tomorrow I will buy it. As many know or if you do not know. Chris Brown was unable to perform at the BET Awards last year after the untimely death of Michael Jackson due to the controversy surrounding him and his criminal case involving Rihanna.

It seemed at that time that everyone turned their back on Chris Brown. Friends of mine have stated he is a woman beater I don't like him.

So I ask the question after a person has served their sentence should they be forgiven and given a second chance?

Media, critics, and the general public were very hard on Chris Brown especially considering no one to this day knows exactly what happened outside of Chris Brown and Rihanna and that 3rd party called nothing but the truth.

We shall wait on pins and needles to see if Chris Brown's career has been resurrected? Are you a fan or a foe?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, June 25, 2010


I love Him because He first loved me.
I love Him because I was created in His image and His likeness.
I love Him because I am a part of Him.
I love Him because no matter what I do or say He is always there for me even when I am not there for myself.
I love Him because He has plans to prosper me, give me hope and a future.
I love Him because He is Love.
I love Him because His Love is Unconditional
I love Him because I know Him for myself to be
Alpha and Omega
Most High
My Source
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
I love Him because he knows me from the crown of my head to the tip of my pinky toe because He is my Heavenly Father!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The 1st Man to Show Me Real Love Part 2

I love my daddy because he first loved me. He used to tease me about how long my mom was in labor. He told me, he could've drove to New York and back and I still wouldn't have been here. Nevertheless like any expectant father he sat there and waited.

Only to find out that his baby girl was born with jaundice and air in her lungs/chest and need surgery! So my mommy had to go home from the hospital without her baby I had to stay a couple extra weeks and she was distraught about it.

Maybe my daddy loves me so much because just when he experienced having me in the world he also experienced the reality that I just might not make it. It could also be because I am the splitting image of him I am not sure.

What I do know is my daddy has an unconditional love for me. There is not anyone on the face of this earth that can tell my daddy anything about me that he would believe not no one not even my momma. If he didn't see it or hear it, I didn't do it!

I love my daddy because when word got to him that I was thinking about moving in with a man. He called me and said now Johnai I didn't raise you like that, does this man plan on marrying you? I answered my daddy's questions, he spoke his peace and let me know he didn't agree and he left the conversation alone. He didn't try to beat me over the head with his opinion after all I was grown but as my father and as a man he bestowed his wisdom and knowledge.

I love my daddy because he has always been there. I cannot remember a time when he wasn't there when I needed him EVER. I love my daddy because although he is not a devout Christian or overly spiritual he has an understanding of unconditional love, that love that the bible speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13. He embodies that in his relationship with me.

I love my daddy because he first loved me.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Crisis Management 101: Faith vs. Fear

What is the first reaction that most of us have in a crisis? That first emotion when we hear bad news?

If we are honest with ourselves, it is probably fear. Even those of us who calmly take control, call for the bandages, carefully follow the emergency procedures that we may have learned, and logically work to solve the problem still experience that initial "punched in the gut" feeling before our common sense and training take over.
And what if the crisis is a very personal one—illness, death, loss of a job, etc.? After the initial phase of fear and denial, what do you do then? How do you feel? What are your coping mechanisms?

I will honestly admit that for most of my life, fear has been the ruling emotion in a crisis. Sure, I "trusted" God, but where was he when my world was crumbling? I couldn't wait around for him to "show up" and clean up the mess. I needed answers NOW! And God wasn't speaking up when I was falling apart.

I have recently come to understand that my "trust" wasn't really genuine--that my "faith" only applied when things were going my way. And when that faith and trust were tested by the trials and tribulations of life, I wasn't turning to God for my strength and my salvation. I was relying on myself to "do" something--to fix things.

And even when I was so bruised and battered that I didn't have anywhere else to go and I finally turned to God in desperation, I really didn't completely trust and relax in God's care. I couldn't find peace in the midst of my panic. So even though I asked for God's help, I didn't get out of his way and let him work.

By continuing to worry, I wasn't demonstrating my confidence in him. I would "Let Go and Let God" momentarily, only to take my problem back again by continuing to stress over it. So basically, I was asking God to help and then telling him that I didn't really believe that he would!
Does any of this sound familiar?

The fundamental issues at the core of my worry were these:
I didn't trust God.
I didn't think he would use his power to save me.
I didn't think I was worthy and didn't understand the meaning of "Grace."
I was impatient and wanted God to answer my prayers my way.
...which led me back to #1--I didn't trust God, or his plan for my life.

1. Trust God
Really trusting God is the foundation of faith. Without complete trust and surrender of control, we will never experience the full power and blessings of our amazing God. So how do we know that we can truly Trust God? Well, scripture is full of verses and examples that should convince us.
"...If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God." ~Isaiah 50:10
"They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted him." ~ 1 Chronicles 5:20
"O my people, trust in him at all times; Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. ~ Psalm 62:8
"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me." ~ John 14:1
"...Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God." ~ Daniel 6:23
"Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed, because we can trust God to do what he promised." ~ Hebrews 10:23
And these are just a few of the places where you can find evidence that God is trustworthy. Time and time again, God shows up to save his people. Read about David, Daniel, Job, Moses, Noah, etc., etc. Look back on your own life and the lives of those around you. God keeps his promises and he promises us that he will be there for us. But we have to do our part. We have to TRUST.

2. God Uses His Power to Help Us
Our God is all-powerful. Nothing is beyond his capability. He can part the Red Sea, move mountains and destroy our enemies. He is OUR FATHER, and Fathers have a natural inclination to show up and fight our battles for us.
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." ~ Exodus 14:14
But again, we have to do our part. And one of the ways that we demonstrate our TRUST is by getting out of God's way—by being "still" and letting him work on our behalf. When we try to control the end result, we sabotage God's plan and we interfere with his approach to arrive at our best outcome.
Have you ever found yourself trying in vain to solve a problem? And even with all your efforts, it seemed that the odds were stacked against you? But when you finally stopped fighting, things seemed to just work themselves out—and the solution turned out to be better than what you were working toward? Well, you were finally "still" and allowed God's power to flow through toward HIS solution.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
In the midst of our troubles we often forget that God wants to help us! Like a parent, he uses the experiences in our lives to teach and to guide us. And when we trust him, trust his plan, and trust his power; miraculous things happen!

3. What is Grace and Who Deserves It?
Grace is "the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God." And Mercy is its forgiving counterpart. God forgives us and withholds punishment from us, while at the same time, blessing us and bringing good to us—even though we don't deserve either His Mercy or His Grace.
"Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath." ~ Psalm 78:38
So the truth is that I am NOT worthy of God's Grace or his help. None of us are. But it is God's desire and God's nature to freely offer his forgiveness, his mercy and his grace to us. Grace is pure; Grace is God's alone to give. And it is a gift, not something we can earn.
"And if they are chosen by grace, it is no longer a matter of working for it. If it were, grace wouldn't be grace anymore." ~ Romans 11:6
When we recognize the very nature of Grace itself, we are finally humbled to realize that we are dependent upon God. And it is only when we surrender to him, and stop relying on ourselves that we open ourselves up to fully receive this amazing gift.
"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." ~ 1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6
Therefore, part of learning to completely trust God and rely on him is to come to understand the concept of Grace and to recognize all the times when God has bestowed his Grace upon us. We must remain humble, appreciative, and fully surrender to God's will for our lives. When we do, we can be assured that God will be there for us in all our times of trouble. He did not promise us a life without problems or strife. But he did promise us that he would help us whenever we needed him.
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." ~ Hebrews 4:16

4. I Need Help and Answers and I Need Them NOW!
When in the throes of a crisis, we are desperately seeking solutions, answers, guidance and deliverance. And we are impatient; we want to see our way out as fast as possible. And therein lies the fundamental problem: we say that we trust God, but by desiring a specific and rapid resolution, we are denying God an opportunity to work, to implement his plan rather than ours.
And this reveals the basic dilemma in Crisis Management 101—until we completely, fully and totally TRUST God, we will never achieve the peace that comes from knowing that "All is Well."
When we are impatient, fearful, controlling, demanding, insecure and stressed, we reveal that we are not confident that God is on the throne and that he has a better plan for us than we can design ourselves. We deny ourselves his ultimate blessings as we seek to settle for much less than he desires for us. And we spend our days in panic, turmoil, and pain rather than in peace.
So the next time life throws you a curve and you feel that "kicked in the stomach" fear creep in, just remind yourself to TRUST God. Talk to him all throughout each day; he will not forsake you. And he just may be trying to bless you, if only you truly believed.

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." ~ James 1:2-4

Deborah J. Thompson is a writer, artist and Stephen Minister. Her articles are published by and "The Fish" family of Christian radio station websites around the country. She shares "Reflections" on Life and Marriage on her website, And she is working on her first book, Your Life, Your Choice, which gives 5 simple steps to harness the power of your choices and bring more Love, Joy and Peace into your life. Join her on Facebook and Twitter/InspireReflect.
Original publication date: June 14, 2010

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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The 1st Man to Show Me Real Love

I love my daddy and I am a daddy's girl and proud of it! He is the 1st man to ever love me unconditionally and has done so since the day that I was born.

I have a lot of vivid memories of my father and there is one thing that I know he has always been there (the tears are forming now).

I believe that the 1st man to love any girl/woman is her father. Unfortunately that is not always the case.

Let me take you down memory lane......

At 5 I was hit by a car. My daddy came up to the hospital every night after work right around dinner time. He would get soooo upset because I had sloppy joe like every night for dinner. He would fuss and tell me I needed to eat something else but what was I supposed to do it was hospital food and I was 5. He wouldn't press too much and of course I ended up getting my way.

When I was 9 I went to visit my mother's aunt in Minnesota. I was having a good time at first but I was ready to come home. So my daddy rounded up a couple of his friends drove to Minnesota and came to get his baby. He let me know I didn't have to stay anywhere I didn't want to be and he would come and get me.

Around that same age I thought the man had completely lost his mind. He asked me one day while riding in the car, if the house was on fire and I could only save him or my momma who would I save? I couldn't believe it and had sense enough not to answer the question. However weird it may sound my daddy wanted me to love him more than I loved anyone else (well that's how I took it).

Then at about 15 I had an epiphany. My daddy never says those 3 words....I love you. So I asked him daddy do you love me. His response was the lights are on, the heat is on, the bills are paid, there is food in the refrigerator, I pick you up from school everyday.

What my daddy was telling me loud and clear was YES I love you and that love is evident in the fact that I take care of and provide for you. At that moment I was ok and to this very day we rarely say the words I LOVE YOU but we show it to each other all the time. I love my daddy, yes I do and my daddy loves!

My daddy worked 16 hours shifts to put me through college at the University of Illinois and it was all paid for in cash! I did not take out 1 undergraduate student loan. He would drive down to Champaign just to take me and my friends out to dinner or to come and help us move into another apartment.

My daddy is the best daddy in the world in my opinion and no one can tell me differently.

Happy Father's Day Daddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Racial profiling while driving has been researched and talked about all across the United States.

I read a story of how Flo Joyner's husband was pulled over years ago and when the cop realized whom he was the cop decided to let him go as he pulled him over simply because he was driving a luxury car. This same thing happened to one of the members of Boyz II Men while driving out in LA (from an article years ago in Ebony).

A couple of months ago myself and my cousins left the hospital visiting a friends husband. We were riding in a Dark Blue Nissan Maxima with tinted windows. We were pulled over by a state trooper. He told us that he pulled us over for speeding doing 55 in a 45 construction zone and because a head light was out. I was driving the car and didn't have my license as I keep it in my own vehicle. The officer was nice enough to give me a warning and let us go.

That same night a male friend of mine was pulled over on the same expressway for the same thing, he of course was given a ticket although he had his license and everything was in order. A few weeks later this same gentleman was sitting in his car eating some food he'd purchased around 2/3 in the morning. Some cops approached him asked him to get out of the vehicle, searched his car, asked for his license. He asked was it a problem he was sitting in his car outside the restaurant eating? Of course no ticket was issued but what was the point.

Ladies, there is a difference in the treatment of our black men and ourselves. Think of the tickets you should've gotten but didn't simply because you were a woman.

I remember years ago, the police pulled my mom over after we left my sisters apartment in Bolingbrook. They told her she was driving on a suspended license. She told the officer she didn't know her license was suspended. They gave her a warning and we continued on our drive home. I am almost 100% sure had that been my dad the story would have been told differently.

While we all are aware or should be aware that racial profiling exist. This month I pray that black women have more compassion and understanding for the black man. Not pity or disdain but understanding that yes there are some things that they go through that are above and beyond their control. The system still exist and the "man" is still trying to hold them down.

Yes there are things that they can do to avoid the system like staying away from crime/criminals PERIOD. However being pulled over for being black or not getting a job because they are a black man is above and beyond their control.

With that said the message from Bill Winston this morning is right on time, stop looking to the world for money, promotion, and increase that only comes from God.

So to the black woman to help the black man pray for him, uplift, encourage him and if you have a son RAISE him properly with respect, values, and morals. To the black man, pray for yourself, know God for yourself, develop a relationship with Him and love the black woman and take care of your family/children. If we could unite and do that as a people our communities would change!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, June 14, 2010


Offering the largest urban family celebration in the country featuring fathers cooking and serving delicious food at the event. Events occur on or around -

Washington DC
New York

Real men cook, support your community and African American men this weekend as they cook up dishes and serve on Father's Day coming to a city near you!
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, June 11, 2010


He is my King, He is my one Yes he's my father, Yes he's my son I can talk to him, cuz he understands
Everything I go through and everything I am That's my support system, I can't live without him
The best thing since sliced bread, Is his kiss, his hugs, his lips, his touch And I just want the whole world to know, about my..
Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never - try to hurt ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no - one above ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true
[Verse 2]He's misunderstood, some say that he's up to no good around the neighborhood But fo' your information - alot of my brothers got education (now check it)You got ya wallstreet brotha, ya blue collar brotha,Your down for whatever chillin on the corner brother A talented brotha, and to everyone of yall behind bars You know that Angie loves ya
Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never - try to hurt ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no - one above ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true
You mean so much to me, you give me what i need,I'm so proud of you (I said I'm so proud of you)I love you for stayin strong, you got it goin on I'm so proud of you (I'mmmmmmmmm)Going through thick and thin, brothas you gonna win I'm so proud of you (I said I'm so proud of you)Whenever you facin doubt, brothas gon work it out I'm so proud of you (I got my shakable faith in ya)
Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never - try to hurt ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no - one above ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true
Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never - try to hurt ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no - one above ya I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true
ohhhhh, ohhhh, for everyone of ya'll you know that Angie loves yaohhhhh, ohhhh, for everyone of ya'll you know that Angie loves yayeahhhhhhhh

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Attend a National Career Fair and Meet Face to Face with over 30 local hiring managers. Register now and get access to the company list. Click here to Register

Meet face-to-face with hiring managers at the Chicago Career Fair on Friday, June 25. Applying online to jobs can get frustrating- meeting face-to-face is your chance to stand out from the crowd!

Friday, June 25

Holiday Inn Select & Convention Center - Tinley Park
18501 S. Harlem Ave
Tinley Park, IL 60477

Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free to attend!
Over 200 positions will be available at this event!

Career experts onsite will provide FREE Resume Reviews!

For a list of attending companies, click the link below and fill out the brief registration form:

Click Here to Register – Free to Attend

Bring at least 25 resumes to the event!

Take care-
See you at the career fair!?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


As I continue to celebrate men on this month. This morning I thought about what to post today and then a sermon or a message within a sermon my Pastor taught months ago came into my head.

No one, I repeat no one on the face of the earth will ever understand what it means to be a black man except for a black man. As black women we experience a lot of the things that they do but not to the extent and or magnitude of which a black man does e.g. racism, discrimination etc. For example, when certain people see a black woman walking down the street they aren't going to clutch their purse tighter and/or attempt to cross to the other side of the street.

So as the black woman understand that when your man goes out into the World he is getting beat up often in some kind of way and you need to be his biggest cheerleader when he comes home.

If you have a man that is working hard to support his family and is doing the best that he can (or one whom has potential or is currently experiencing unemployment due to this economy), when he comes home at night be his biggest cheerleader (as my Pastor said). Encourage him, uplift him be his help mate, love him, let him have the remote, give him some quiet time or whatever he needs, have dinner ready, heck rub his feet or massage his back whatever it is that well help him relax and unwind.

Whether you want to believe it or not racism and prejudice are still alive and well even though we have a Black/African man as President. I was watching the TV One interview with Louis Farrakhan and he mentioned how police violence against black men has risen since Obama has been in office. There is and has always been a war out for our black men. It is not by accident that our men are in jails/prisons, on the streets killing each other, using and selling drugs to our people etc. There is a Governor that bases his prison population off of 3rd grade African American boys reading scores (fact given by a panel member on a televised broadcast of the State of the Black America, I believe that's was the name of it).

So ladies, if you are raising a black men or in a relationship with a black man, build him up, encourage him, and love him EVERYDAY. Never talk down upon him or belittle him. No matter if he does something that is "stupid" in your opinion. There is a way outside of nagging, moaning and excuse my french bitching to get a black man to understand your point of view.

Most importantly, we have to learn how to let a man be a man. The world is and has already done everything that it can to emasculate the black man. Even convincing black women that they don't need a man they are independent and can do it alone and be the head of the household (which we can if need be but that is not God's design!). Also, we (women)as have late are constantly being beat over the head with the notion that successful black women are unlikely to marry. Since the family (father/mother/children) is the cornerstone of society in the world's view and in God's kingdom we must be ware of what we allow to effect us as black people.

Finally, Bill Winston said today in order for the black family and our people to rise our men, the head, must rise up and get themselves together.

So ladies as mothers and nurturers and helpmates it is our job to support our black men (not financially of course but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally).

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Father's Love

Is a Warm Embrace, Or a Quick Hug A Glowing Smile, and Your Wit and Wisdom...
A Fathers Love is a Walk in the Park On a Hot Summer Day A Drive in the Car, Down that
Windy dirt Road
A Fathers Love is in the Poem Written To 'A Friend or Daughter,'In the Special Words That Come Only From a Father...
A Fathers Love is in Fun Times Together Camping under the Trees Enjoying a picnic, and Walking through the Leaves...
A Fathers Love is Faith in His Family High Hopes and Dreams, And Pleasure in Doing' What Ever It Takes'...
A Fathers Love is a Kiss on the Cheek Or a Friendly Hand Shake My Idol for Life, 'I Will Treasure Dearly'...
Carmen Strawn
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Celebrating Over Ten Years of Service Dedicated to Black Men’s Health

The life expectancy of black men in America is shorter than that for any other comparable group. As the life expectancy for other groups increases, the life expectancy for black men is decreasing. In addition to a shorter life expectancy, black men also often experience a poorer quality of life. Poverty, unemployment and poor employment, poor educational opportunities, dangerous and violent environments all contribute to stress, despair, alcohol and drug abuse, and family instability.

In response to the concerns about the health status and quality of life of black men in our community Project Brotherhood was developed, a clinic dedicated to improving the health and welfare of African American Men. PB’s goal is to provide primary, holistic health care and improve health awareness in black men by creating a culturally and gender specific environment. Understanding the barriers that Black men face in accessing health care we at Project Brotherhood have developed innovative strategies to recruit and retain black men into primary care.

Free hair cuts and food, as well as transportation assistance are made available for every clinic session.The mission of the Project Brotherhood Clinic is to provide the medical and social services necessary to improve the overall health and well being of the black men in our community. In addition to on site services, Project Brotherhood provides resources and linkages to other Chicago area services.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, June 4, 2010

Black Men and Prostate Cancer

Rates in the Black Male Population

African American men are 60 percent more likely to get prostate cancer than whites. They're also twice as likely to die from it than any other group. For years those numbers puzzled researchers, but scientists have made a discovery that may help explain why the risks are so high.

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Percy Smith knew he wanted to volunteer for the hospital where he was treated. He says he's alive today partly because of the treatment he received at the hospital and partly because of his wife. Knowing African Americans are at a greater risk for prostate cancer, she insisted he get checked."She never understood it, I never understood it. I asked doctors and they say they didn't know why,” said Percy.

But now, for the first time they just might ...Doctor Jim Mohler of Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo has discovered a crucial difference in the prostates of African Americans.All men have what are known as androgen receptor proteins - they are the receptors for the hormones that regulate male traits like facial hair and baldness. But Doctor Mohler has found that the levels of those proteins are 22 percent higher in the prostates of African Americans than in whites. And even more striking, they are 81 percent higher in the prostate cancers of African Americans.

"So what this suggests is that the prostate of an African American can be thought of to be in a 'revved-up' state where it's being stimulated to grow and perhaps develop cancer because of greater stimulation,” said Doctor Mohler.But the over-expression of that protein could lead to more than just cancer - Doctor Michael Wong says it could also lead to the development of new treatments if doctors can pinpoint when the protein becomes active and why."Knowing that, we can use that and exploit that to have better therapies, better treatments. We can use that to help us find the cancers for earlier diagnosis,” said Doctor Wong.If prostate cancer is caught early, it can often be treated successfully. It worked for Percy, which is why he is now committed to working for the hospital that played a part in saving his life.Most men are encouraged to start having prostate screenings around age 50. However, experts recommend African American men begin testing at age 45.

Jim Shaw

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials